Multi-billionaire Murdock…eating at “4-Leaf” level

Trying to live to the record age of 125 years

The New York Times Sunday Magazine (3-6-11) featured a lengthy article on the super-wealthy Dole tycoon, David Murdock, and the diet-style he thinks can keep him alive for another 38 years…when he would turn 125. You can read the entire article by clicking on the link at the end of this blog.

For me and David Murdock, eating at the “4-Leaf” level means eating lots of whole plants like these — in nature’s package.

After reading his very interesting story, I concluded that David, like myself, probably eats more whole plants than well over 99% of the U.S. population. But, also like me, he doesn’t describe himself as a vegetarian or a vegan. In his case, that’s because he eats seafood and egg-whites.

In my case, while I never plan to have any animal products, I do have a few bites occasionally. One of those occasions was this past Monday at the Harvard Club in New York, where I was served a salmon fillet with my lunch….just before speaking to the group about the merits of a plant-based diet….A man’s got to be flexible.

Also, like myself, I concluded that Mr. Murdock is eating at the 4Leaf level, referring to a term that we are introducing in our book later this year. Eating at the 4Leaf level simply means consistently deriving over 80% of your calories from whole plants. In his case, his fish and egg-whites are part of the “other” 20%. In my case, it’s the cocktails, beer and an occasional piece of fish or cheese.

In our trademarked 4Leaf Program, we set up a simple scale of 20-40-60-80 that represents the percentage of one’s calories that are derived from whole plants…going from 1Leaf at 20% to 4Leaf at 80%. Rather than focusing on what we want to avoid eating, we decided to focus on maximizing our intake of whole plant foods, which almost everyone believes are good for you — including your mother.

By comparison, the average American gets far less than 10% of their calories from whole plants, which Dr. T. Colin Campbell says is the natural and the optimal diet for our species. In fact, after reviewing thiLeaf idea with him in November of 2009, I drafted the following health description for persons eating at the 4-Leaf level.

Representing a small minority of the population; they tend to have trim bodies, vibrant health, lots of energy, take no medications, almost never have ANY disease and will very likely live a long & healthy life.

I doubt that Mr. Murdock has never heard of our 4Leaf Program, but it sounds like he is eating at the 4Leaf level, nevertheless. Whether that’s going to take him to 125 remains to be seen. In my case, outliving all my friends and family is not my goal. I simply want to enjoy vibrant health for as long as I may live and pass quietly in my sleep when my number comes up. I also want to make a positive difference in this world. And Here’s how I plan to do that.

With my book about ready to be published, my goal is to give people all the information that they need to know before deciding what to feed to their families. That critical information has simply not been made available to the general public. I had to dig and study for eight years to come up with my “big picture” understanding of food that goes far beyond our own individual health.

People everywhere make their eating decisions for many different reasons. After better grasping the “big picture” about food, my bet is lots of them will make some positive changes in what they are eating. And, as I did, they will do it their way. And some of them might figure out how to live a “vibrantly healthy” 125 years. And, I hope that they do. But, I am afraid that for me and David Murdock, we probably got started a little too late for us to expect that kind of longevity. Now, for my six grand-children — well, that’s a different story.

As for Mr. Murdock, he is # 130 on the latest Forbes list, but his fortune is down to a measly $2.7 billion down from $4.2 billion five years ago. Like the rest of us, the poor guy was a victim of the recession. Even so, if he lives to 125, he could spend over $187,000 a day for the rest of his life and still have a hundred million or so to leave for his heirs.

I just hope he invites me to that 125th birthday party…as I will be a relatively young man of 104 at that time. As promised, here is the complete article on the magnificent Mr. Murdock. The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday –

Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to Multi-billionaire Murdock…eating at “4-Leaf” level

  1. Kit Slitor says:

    This is an insightful article. Note all the leaders and movers-shakers are already hip to the “inside knowledge”, namely that a plant based diet is better for your health, kinder to animal and the planet. Another good thing is that a plant-based diet is cheaper. My wife and I find that cleaning dishes after preparing a plant based meal is much easier. The baked detritus on pots and pans is much easier to clean off and you need not worry about animal-based bacteria. It is safer for kitchen hygiene.

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